Written by Michael Krapovicky | Photography by Nicole Rand
The historical significance of The Colisée cannot be overlooked. Dating back to the rematch between Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston in 1965, as well as a myriad of concerts, sporting events, and theatrical performances. Since 2004, The Colisée has developed a night-club section to be a source of entertainment and libations for the community. The Colisée Club has undergone significant renovations since it’s first incarnation as the Baxter Lounge, and since 2021, services patrons with comedy, music, and a place to relax with friends.
As general manager, Stephen Androlewicz fills many roles, from construction to cooking, to planning and overseeing the Club’s activities.
“I wear many hats,” jokes Androlewicz.
Androlewicz attended Rhodes College, working security at scholastic events and local clubs, inspiring an interest in venue management.
“Since college, I’ve worked in most of the large cities in the US, overseeing and owning clubs, mostly in St. Louis,” recalls Androlewicz. “The Colisée is the 38th venue I’ve been involved with.”
Androlewicz moved to Maine to expand his children’s opportunities to play scholastic sports.
“My oldest son played for the Nordiques, as a goalie, and he now plays for the University of Maine at Orono,” explains Androlewicz. “My youngest son plays for the Nordiques as well, and I wanted to work close to them.”
Tiffany Levesque, a graduate of Lewiston High School in 2011, is the Director of Operations at the Colisée.
“My whole life was athletics, so I was very familiar with this building.” says Levesque.
Though her academic field was architecture, Levesque sought a new path.
“I wanted a career change,” states Levesque. “I interned for a year at The Colisée in 2019; then I became Operations Director in October of 2020.
In 2004, The Colisée allotted space for events called the Baxter Lounge, which in 2011 became a gymnasium for athletic training. Androlewicz and Levesque sought to re-open the event space at The Colisée to offer a new, upscale entertainment venue right here in LA.
“I noticed folks going to Portland for nightlife,” says Androlewicz. “We’re trying to keep everything local – so people don’t feel the need to travel.”
The team did extensive renovations to the space to accommodate their vision. As a result, the atmosphere is classy and decorative, with brilliantly colored portraits of iconic musicians, actors, and other entertainers.
“When the club is at capacity seating, we can move out into the arena,” says Androlewicz. “The “Mainiacs” bar, that used to be in Baxter Lounge, that had been stored away, was repurposed in this area.”
The team at The Colisée Club employs simple, tried-and-true service implementation, as directed by Androlewicz.
“I’ve been in the service industry for 42 years; I’m old-school,” asserts Androlewicz. “We offer meals and drinks at a fair price, quick service, and good communication.”
Androlewicz and the team at The Colisée Club eschew being labeled one type of venue, favoring a universal appeal.
“We want to provide entertainment that all age groups can enjoy,” insists Androlewicz. “I took the boys to Ireland, seeing people who were 18, as well as 50 and over, all in the same environment having a good time – that’s what we’d like to see happen here.”
Because of his experience, Androlewicz is more than willing to accept feedback from his clientele. “I believe in developing relationships,” says Androlewicz. “If you want us to change something, we are willing to adapt based on the needs of the community.”
The Colisée Club enlists entertainment from the community nearly exclusively.
“We are trying to stay all local when it comes to talent,” says Levesque. “We want live entertainment willing to be our partner – we provide food and drinks, they provide the show.”
The Colisée Club hosts The River Comics on the first and third Friday of every month. The fourth Friday features father and son music duo Ernie and Scott Gagne.
“We all collaborate on ideas, figure out how to market, and schedule them,” says Levesque. “We are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, so we have some happy hour events for the Chamber, like trivia nights.”
The Colisée Club is willing to take time to develop the potential of new acts, knowing it can take up to six months for an event to become a dependable place to go.
“The owners are very flexible about what we do and patient with allowing us to build recognition over time, giving us a lot of latitude with new ideas,” affirms Androlewicz.
The Colisée Club endeavors to be recognized as an entertainment center with a catering aspect, providing whatever is required for a client’s event. With a total capacity of 200, seating for 137, and a substantial kitchen, The Colisée Club can cater to birthday parties, baby showers, graduations, weddings, and the like.
“We offer a really unique environment, unlike anything in LA,” says Androlewicz. “Also, there are practically no limits on food choice – you can have prime rib, hand-breaded chicken parmesan, or just pizzas and hot dogs.”
The Colisée Club has held events for local police, firefighters, motorcycle clubs, and local businesses, as well as sponsored fundraisers for the Muslim community, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many others.
“The Colisée Club is constantly striving to supply what local institutions require,” Androlewicz maintains. “As people are feeling more comfortable gathering, we hope they will continue to discover and utilize this great space we have here in Lewiston.”
In the future, The Colisée Club will not only continue its live events and catering, but it will also have another concession space available, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a late-night menu. Androlewicz is hoping to have the new space this autumn or winter.
“When people are here for hockey games, and they want a bite to eat, it will be available to them,” Androlewicz says. “Folks can use delivery services like Grubhub for our offerings as well.”
“The late-night menu is a priority to get rolled out – I think it’s a need in the community that we’d like to fill,” Androlewicz imparts.
Changing with the times
The entertainment will be fluid over time as The Colisée Club seeks to satisfy the public demand.
“We’d like to add karaoke to our roster,” says Androlewicz. “We also would like to have bands and other sources of cost-effective entertainment.”
The Club wants to offer a memorable experience for the people attending the larger events at The Colisée or those merely seeking a stylish yet personable atmosphere.
“The Colisée Club is available before and after the larger events happen,” says Androlewicz. “We just want to be known as an entertainment club that, on any given night, when you walk out, you can say, ‘I had fun.’”
The Colisée Club
190 Birch St. Lewiston • www.thecolisee.com/the-colisee-club